Since 2022 I have been organizing as an author, moderator and coordinator a very successful event called "Hanami cherry blossom festival in Strahov Monastery"

What is Hanami?

Sakura has always represented a distinct archetype in Japanese culture, in which the sacral and aesthetic elements met and sometimes even for the land of the rising sun so characteristically mixed. Sakura is related to the original Shinto religion for example in connection with the deity of rice (swordsmiths, geishas, merchants, etc.) Inari-sama. At the same time since the Heian period (794 - 1183) it has become an extremely strong aesthetic element praised by poets. A strong element of aesthetic emancipation can also be seen here, because in previous periods poetry rather praised the plum tree according to the Chinese model, which by the way still is the national tree of The Middle Kingdom. Sakura then has become the symbol of Japan, the national tree and in fact a flower which can also be found on the 100yen coin.

Sakura has became a seasonal kigo word, introducing the poem to a certain time of a year. In this case to the late spring, around April. The cherry blossoms bloom in most of Japan, although the meridional distribution of the Japanese islands means that it is earlier in some parts of Japan than the others. And it is the time when Hanami, the cherry blossoms festival has been held for centuries.

The term Hanami literally means "gazing at cherry blossoms'' and it refers to the ancient yet still alive Japanese custom of sitting under cherry tree blossoms and admiring their beauty. In the past, poems were sometimes written on the occasion, sake was drunk or a tea ceremony was held. Hanami now is an opportunity for an open-air picnic with family or friends.

Sakura in Japanese culture

Sakura has always represented a distinct archetype in Japanese culture...

Hanami in Strahov Monastery

A festival inspired by Hanami also took place in Prague...

... short footage from Hanami Prague 2023 festival ...